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Is the Museum a Battlefield? 2013

Lecture and HD video

In "Is The Museum A Battlefield", Hito Steyerl shows that the museum has long been one of the social settings in which the struggles for political and economic dominance are played out. But she also recognizes herself amidst these struggles, understanding her own close relationship to the military-cultural complex. When she investigates the origin of a machine-gun bullet that killed her friend Andrea Wolf, a PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party) fighter, in 1998, she finds out that its producer, Lockheed Martin, is both a sponsor of the Istanbul Biennial, where she gives her lecture, and the patron of her exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, where her film on Wolf’s death is one of the works shown.

Research: Necat Sunar
Translation: Kawa Nemir, Erkal Ünal Crew: Selim Yildiz, Tina Leisch, Ali Can, Neman Kara, Siyar, Sahin Okay, Apo, Christoph Manz, Maximilian Schmötzer, Leon Kahane
Music: Brian Kuan Wood
With thanks to Bilgin Ayata

Documentation of a lecture given at the 13th Istanbul Biennial

This lecture is not for sale. Institutions can add it to non-profit collections against a donation for Kurdish municipality refugee relief efforts.

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Works by Hito Steyerl

Hito Steyerl was born in Munich in 1966. She studied in Tokyo, Munich, and Vienna before she moved to Berlin, where she lives and works today. As a filmmaker, visual artist, and author in the field of essayist documentary video, Steyerl is a frequent lecturer, has published influencial writings, and participated in numerous international exhibitions and biennials. She exhibited at documenta 12 in 2007 and in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2015.